The outbreak of infection can be fatal if care is not taken; for instance an outbreak of MRSA that can be resistant to most antibiotics can be fatal. The outbreak of an infection has consequences for individuals, staff and the organisation. It can cause ill health to all concerned and it can also impact emotionally because people that acquire infection relate it to being dirty and some infections may require people to be isolated from others for a period of time. The organisation could lose money if most of the staff are off sick and as they will then need to employ more staff which they will be paying to cover in addition to staff that are off sick.
The organisation could also be fined by not complying with the law and in turn this will damage their reputation. In the workplace supporting individuals with personal care activities and sharing facilities with others involve coming into contact with bodily fluids which contain pathogens. Cleaning areas such as bathrooms that are dirty and where bodily fluids are present may be more likely to be contaminated with pathogens. Handling laundry that may be dirty or contaminated with bodily fluids can also contain pathogens. Handling of disposing of clinical waste, emptying waste containers and receptacles will also bring you into waste that are contaminated with pathogens.
Providing personal care activities that require being close to an individual and dealing with bodily fluids increases the chance of infections spreading. Sometimes support workers may be exposed to high risk situations where the risk of infection spreading is higher such as in an individual’s home where the support worker is supporting with personal care but then also other activities such as handling food and disposing of waste.